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After almost one year, Council ratifies its first Economic Development Director


The waiting is finally over.

At its January 17th meeting, the Apopka City Council voted 5-0 to ratify Michelle Boylan as its first economic development director.

It was almost exactly one year, at the January 18th, 2023 meeting, that the Council voted 3-2 to create an economic development department. Commissioner Kyle Becker, who advocated for the department's formation, along with Commissioners Nick Nesta and Diane Velazquez, voted in favor, while Mayor Bryan Nelson and Commissioner Alexander Smith voted against it.

The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 to name Michelle Boylan as Apopka's first economic development director.
The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 to name Michelle Boylan as Apopka's first economic development director.

"Today is a happy day for me," said Apopka HR Director Joe Patton. "So today I am asking for commissioners to ratify Michelle Baylan as our first economic development director."

Boylan is the Vice President/Strategic Initiatives of Enterprise Florida, Inc. 

Enterprise Florida, also known as SelectFlorida, is the state of Florida’s official international commerce organization, serving as a catalyst for economic development, economic diversification into targeted industries, and high-wage job creation for Floridians.

"I just ask that the administration, this Council, gives you the latitude that you need to do your job because a lot of what you're going to be doing is outside the four walls of the City Hall," said Becker. "It will be out pounding the pavement and building relationships with people currently in Apopka, but those that we want to see come here. So, not to be too long, long-winded. But that's all to say. I'm glad you're here. And I'm excited for you. And you have my my support."

"Thank you," said Boylan. "I'm actually excited I didn't have to compete against you for the role. You seem to know as much about it as I do and as qualified as I am. Thank you. I'm honored to be here."

"You're the professional," said Nesta. "I will commit to not getting in your way. You'd be the professional and knock it out. Get out and go go go. You need to rebrand, sell us, and listen to our residents; what do they want? Where do they want it? And how does it best benefit our residents and our small businesses that are here and the new ones that are going to be coming... so I appreciate your time, and I look forward to everything you're gonna do for our city."

"It's interesting, your roots are more rural, which is kind of where we've been, and we're transitioning to something other than rural suburban and maybe even toward urban," said Nelson. "You've got a great head on your shoulders and a great attitude, which is what it takes, and tenacity because you knock on 10 doors to get one good answer... and so we're excited to have you on, and the team is here to help you to be as successful as you can be and be successful for the City of Apopka."

Boylan will begin her role as economic development director on February 5th.

This is breaking news and will be updated in future editions of The Apopka Voice.

Economic Development Department, Apopka City Council, Apopka, City of Apopka, Enterprise Florida


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